Finding Peace in Silent Empty Hours

It’s a four hour drive to Kumarakom, a sleepy little town by the backwaters, dominated by resorts. Kottayam is a short distance away, and there is apparently some sightseeing to be done there. The roads of Kottayam remind me of Goa, low-rise colourful houses, with wide fields lined with rice patties, and peppered with clumpsContinue reading “Finding Peace in Silent Empty Hours”

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Kerala Food Highlight: Grandma’s Cafe

I hear a lot about a Thekkady-based joint called Grandma’s Cafe, so on my second (and last) evening there, I finally decide to give it a try. This place is an institution, and is known for it’s mix of Continental, non-Kerala Indian, and Kerala cuisine, and being a favourite of travellers. I found it inContinue reading “Kerala Food Highlight: Grandma’s Cafe”

The Wonders of Kalaripayattu

The kalaripayattu performance that follows the kathakali is nothing short of spectacular. The practitioners move like dancers, their bodies a combination of ridiculous strength and flexibility. Kalaripayattu is an ancient martial art that originated in Kerala, with roots that date back to the Sangam period literature (3rd century BC – 2nd century AD). Every soldierContinue reading “The Wonders of Kalaripayattu”

Discovering Kathakali

Although I had originally planned to see the Kathakali performance in Kumarakom, I find out that it’s difficult to organise, or at least my hotel says so. Fortunately I have the evening free in Thekkady, so I decide that I might as well. I glance in my guide book, and it recommends the Mudra CulturalContinue reading “Discovering Kathakali”

Learnings from the Mannan Tribe

The Thekkady tribal dance performance takes place in a small auditorium, not far from the Periyar Reserve bus stand, across from the Bamboo Grove. I walk into a dusty darkened room, with a few rows of wooden chairs. The door is open, and people are either fanning themselves or swatting at mosquitoes, or in someContinue reading “Learnings from the Mannan Tribe”

Confessions of a Vagabond

My alarm goes off at 4:30 am. My hand slaps towards my phone as if it is an actual clock, finally managing to silence it, if only momentarily. As a precaution I have set an alarm at 4:25, 4:35 and 4:40 lest my body goes on strike and I miss my flight (which has happened).Continue reading “Confessions of a Vagabond”

Etihad Airlines, Eggs & Our Istanbul Transit Adventures

Aditi and I booked window seats one in front of the other for our trip to Turkey, via Abu Dhabi.  I am seated in 32K, and Aditi has the window seat behind me. However, when we get there, there is already a man sitting in her seat. He looks confused, as he doesn’t appear toContinue reading “Etihad Airlines, Eggs & Our Istanbul Transit Adventures”